Vail Daily letter: Civil War in Avon
October 28, 2016
How best to describe the latest Avon Town Council meeting?
A kind of very public Civil War was exposed between some Avon Council members and Avon Town Manager Virginia Egger.
At that meeting, Avon incumbent Jake Wolf ("Gen. Pickett") took a very public run at Ms. Egger, calling into question her management style and overall "transparency". Avon council member Matt Gennett also supported Jake's concerns — reminding me of Gen. Longstreet (C.S.A.) Incredibly, Gen. Longstreet's verbal support was clearly heard via the telephone over the Avon meeting room's loudspeaker. The general, you see, was on travel, only available via telephone during that meeting's very heated verbal exchange.
The event was messy and publicly embarrassing. The Gray Army's Charge that night in Avon was no more successful than they were at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863 … at least in my view.
Mayor and incumbent Jennie Fancher lost control of the meeting for some time, while most folks in attendance were confused by this open/public revolt by some of the current council members.
Most folks in attendance thought the meeting would cover a vote on mountain bike trails and a different discussion about the Benchmark covenants. Eventually, that did happen.
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Bottom line: The council's politics in Avon now are a big mess, and it's not helping the town. What's needed by the Avon electorate now is a move toward a positive change and a new make-up and leadership on the Town Council.
One could hope (expect?) that after two years of the current mayor's leadership, Avon's council would have worked through some of their interpersonal issues and concerns with their town manager. The outcome of this ongoing Avon battle is still not clear — far from clear as Avon is from Appomattox.
Some Avon council members insist "they listen" and as evidence point to the number of times they've had to "reverse themselves" on decisions or deals previously made — the $500,000 Sun and Ski tax rebate debacle, the reversal of the plan to put more mountain bike trails in Wildridge and a failed negotiation on the return of WinterWonderGrass concert this year are the current events that come to mind immediately. Avon's current "streetscape" in front of the Post Office looks like Rube Goldberg designed it. It's time to change our Avon streets back to "safety first" for all.
As an engineer and Avon candidate, I believe that, if you are listening (up front, talking to affected parties), you would not need to keep reversing yourself nor endanger public safety with poorly designed streetscape on our roads.
This Nov. 8, I ask for your vote for Avon Town Council.
Avon's candidate for "positive change."
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